You probably think, when you run social media analytics, that the traffic is just that—all your social media, attributed to the right channel. But you might be wrong, especially if you’re not familiar with the idea of dark social.

Dark social isn’t malicious or sinister; it’s simply social traffic that you can’t define where it came from, exactly. For example, if you send an email with that information, then it’s part of dark social. If you use a secure browsing site for looking at something, that’s dark social too.

It’s definitely harder, but not impossible, for you to analyse the origins of dark social and begin to use the information to better inform your marketing campaigns. For example, how well you use Google Analytics and how well you segment your information is going to help feed more accurate results. What else do you need to know?

This graphic helps.